Brackley Town “bitterly disappointed” by league decision

20/02/2021

Club issues statement following league being declared null and void

Brackley Town FC have this morning (Saturday) issued a statement in response to this year’s National League North being declared null and void.   The club describes being “bitterly disappointed for the players, supporters, sponsors and everyone associated with the club”.

The statement acknowledges how everyone at St James Park had done everything they could to enable play to continue thorough very difficult times.   It says: “Throughout the pandemic we have lived with continuing uncertainty that has understandably taken its toll on everybody.  Players, management and volunteers have worked tirelessly through this difficult period, always going the extra mile for the club and for our supporters.”

At the point of the season being declared null and void the Saints were fourth in the National League North and occupied one of the promotion play off positions.   The club’s statement acknowledges how well they had been doing recently: “The performance of the first team has again been magnificent with some memorable victories and cup defeats including 2nd round FA Cup tie at Tranmere Rovers televised live on the BBC to an audience of millions.  As the halfway point in the season approached the team achieved another top four finish, the fourth in successive seasons.”

The decision to declare the 2020/21 season null and void and curtail any further matches was made on Thursday evening following a vote by National League member clubs.   24 teams voted to end and abandon the current season with 19 voting against the suggestion.

The club’s statement finishes with some optimism for the future: “Times are changing and there is every reason to look forward with optimism that a new season will begin and we will welcome supporters back into St James Park alongside a whole range of activities that centre on the club. 

“A wonderful new clubhouse will soon be completed and will add further to what the club can provide for supporters and the wider community.”

This is the full statement from Brackley Town:

While respecting the decision voted on by National League clubs, we are bitterly disappointed for the players, supporters, sponsors and everyone associated with the club that the season is not able to continue.  The club recognises the importance of maintaining the integrity of the National League at Steps 1 and 2 and the importance of football to our supporters while acknowledging the very real financial challenges and protecting the long-term future of the club.

It has been a challenging period of time for everyone because of Covid.  At the football club we saw the 2019-20 season curtailed and then resurrected with the play-offs which we contested at significant expense.  The start to this season was delayed and once underway matches were played with reduced crowds or entirely behind closed doors reducing revenue to nil bar through live streaming.  Throughout these challenges we have also been managing the re-build of the clubhouse following the fire of June 2019.  This project has further drawn on scarce resources.

Positives to come out of this are sadly few.  However, we have seen government acknowledge the important role that non-league football clubs play in our communities including the benefits to mental health and well-being.  The place of our club within the Brackley community and its importance to so many people have been highlighted over and again.

Throughout the pandemic we have lived with continuing uncertainty that has understandably taken its toll on everybody.  Players, management and volunteers have worked tirelessly through this difficult period, always going the extra mile for the club and for our supporters.  The performance of the first team has again been magnificent with some memorable victories and cup defeats including 2nd round FA Cup tie at Tranmere Rovers televised live on the BBC to an audience of millions.  As the halfway point in the season approached the team achieved another top four finish, the fourth in successive seasons.

The club wishes to express its thanks also to supporters and sponsors who have stuck by us.  Your support in the coming months will be more important than ever.

Times are changing and there is every reason to look forward with optimism that a new season will begin and we will welcome supporters back into St James Park alongside a whole range of activities that centre on the club.  A wonderful new clubhouse will soon be completed and will add further to what the club can provide for supporters and the wider community.

We pledge to keep supporters fully informed of news and updates as the coming weeks and months unfold.

Stand Together.


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